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> What I Have Learned/How My Views Have Changed
Jaime
post May 30 2005, 07:34 PM
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Have your political views changed since joining America's Debate? Have you come to any great realizations, or have learned anything worth noting?

Feel free to post your thoughts and observations from the last year in this topic.
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moif
post Jun 8 2005, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE(lordhelmet)
You've got your cause and effect backwards.


No I don't. I'm explaining about myself and how I've changed as a result of my access to the internet in general and this site in particular.

The Marshall plan and your experiences in Europe make no difference to that what so ever.


As for the weight of my words, well they obviously weighed enough for you to notice them. thumbsup.gif
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Doclotus
post Jun 8 2005, 08:05 PM
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Have your political views changed since joining America's Debate? Have you come to any great realizations, or have learned anything worth noting?
Actually, they've changed quite a bit. I decided to abandon my independent status and join the Democratic party. I seem to buck the trend of getting more conservative in my years and found quite the opposite. I do think I'm more conservative in the Democratic mold, though, as I prefer the federal government be the last resort in using gov't power to resolve issues but I also recognize its potential value in being able to assist people in improving their lives (done responsibly, of course).

What prompted my move to the blue side more than anything was in response to the increasing desire of the opposing party to legislate morality (in particular, their version of it). I guess I'm almost libertarian in the belief that the government has no business legislating on those grounds. (note: not posting this part as a point of debate, just explaining my reasons)

I think on a few issues my beliefs have crystallized more since I started participating on AD. In particular on abortion (esp thanks to a very nice but lively PM discussion with AuthorMusician flowers.gif ), stem-cell research, universal health care (big change for me here) and our judicial system.

I think if the framers of the constitution had a time machine and could witness AD's community as it relates to the first amendment, they would say "Yeah, that's it. That's why!"

Doc

edit: yeah yeah, spell check is my friend.

This post has been edited by Doclotus: Jun 8 2005, 08:07 PM
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CruisingRam
post Jun 8 2005, 08:10 PM
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I am sorry, one area I have not changed is my non-use of spell check wub.gif
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Cyan
post Jun 9 2005, 09:32 PM
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Iíve changed immeasurably over the last year, and I find that itís negatively affected my ability to participate in the debates. I do a lot more lurking these days, and when I do decide that I want to reply to a topic, I frequently change my mind. Itís a state of disillusionment that became noticeable before election time, and I just canít seem to shake it.

Last year in the ďWhat I have learned / How my views have changed threadĒ I said:

QUOTE(Cyan)
I have learned that logic and reason are useless if you don't also take into consideration the effects of the human condition. My emotions and personal experiences do influence my arguments, and "I feel..." is not a dirty phrase. I think it's important to find a complimentary balance between the two.

My political views always move around a bit as I learn new information. I am not written in stone, and I don't expect that I ever will be. I registered as a Democrat this year because I wanted to take part in the primaries, but I didn't actually participate because I became disenchanted. I expect that I will change my status back to independent in the near future.

I'm not sure what else to say here. The politics and news of the last year have left me feeling quiet and withdrawn, hence the reason that my frequency of posting has decreased a bit. I read all of your arguments, and I'm always learning, but I just can't find the words to respond. Hopefully the next year will bring some healthy changes to political scene.


This is still valid, although I didnít change my status back to independent. Iím still registered as a Democrat, and Iím still hoping that this year will bring some healthy changes. It probably has more to do with me than with the scene, but Iím finding politics to be very depressing.

Even so, Iím quite fond of many of the people that Iíve befriended at AD, so I wonít be disappearing. Iíll just continue to be quiet until I really feel that I have something to say. flowers.gif
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A left Handed pe...
post Jun 16 2005, 08:48 PM
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I've only been posting here for a week or two (unless you count about dozen badly written posts a month or so ago), and this is what I've got so far:

1. My doubts about global warming are now much better researched then they were previously, and as a result, they have been strengthened.

2. I've realized, that I know less about the Iraqi insurgency then I thought I did.

3. I've become somewhat better informed about foreign aid, though much of that came through Clintons Global initiative, and the media, rather then AD.

4. I've learned a bit more about the third partys.

Pretty much the last few years of my life, have contained a great deal of objective elaboration and analyzation of my beliefs. This has made me more liberal, more tolerant, and more compassionate.
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PACPanzer
post Jun 24 2005, 05:58 AM
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The thing I take away from America's Debate that I seldom take from other boards is the fact that here, there are a lot of smart people who think through their responses and offer rich sources that illuminate the paths that brought them to those consclusions. I'm not saying those people still don't bring their own pre-conceived notions to the debate, I just think they are much more willing to acknowledge another point of view as being worthy of debate because they've studied on their own.

The limited time I spend here bouys my spirits and makes me believe that people can and do evolve. I have tried to do that my entire life. In other words, AD gives me hope that people can THINK and REASON. That gives way to a belief and hope that the world's people can think their way out of the mess we seem to be making.

I've changed in the past year by coming here because I realized that even though there are still those who will remain abrasive, uniformed and inflexible, there are many more who can't be categorized or labeled as being one thing or another.

Those thinkers and changers are what I like about the human condition.

Thanks, Jaime and if I might digress just a bit. How about that one-liner forum? There are times I would just like to "chill", and smart off a bit. But....then you'd have to moderate that stuff ... nevermind. There are other boards for that. Thanks for the quality. thumbsup.gif
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VDemosthenes
post Jun 25 2005, 03:34 PM
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Hmm... some more things I've learned:


1.) Mike and Jaime have a huge job making sure this site runs smoothly.

2.) There is a huge amount of respect and self-respect here that is so refreshing. You feel so close to everyone else even though you occasionally try to scream at them through the computer for having the wrong opinion.

3.) That no one is too young or too old to contribute to a debate.

4.) That Zabaserch actually works! devil.gif hmmm.gif innocent.gif zipped.gif whistling.gif

5.) Politicians know nothing. America's Debate members need to hold every public office. flowers.gif

6.) That there should be regulations against one-liners in real life. I've started looking at people like their diseased when they say one sentence and fail to back it up with rational thought. I once asked for a website link or a newspaper article in a real life conversation. blush.gif


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psyclist
post Jun 27 2005, 04:42 AM
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While still pretty new to site, I've learned a lot. It should be obvious that my interests are in the Middle East, American Foreign policy so I've shyed away from replying to Domestic issues....doesn't mean I haven't been reading thumbsup.gif So I've learned a lot about economy, how big of impact moral issues can have in some people's views on politics, and Social Security etc etc. Once I wrap my head around all this stuff I'll start forming opinions and maybe will chime in once and awhile.

I think a lot of my views have been cemented on the "liberal" side. I went to a conservative college so I just assumed I was a "flaming liberal" but it's good to know others do think like me. I don't know how many times I've read something and yelled "Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to say!"

I learned a lot of people have opinions that are based on who knows what and they're not afraid to share them and try and pass them off as facts. I met a lot of these people at college and they called them selves conservatives. I literally met a girl that was going to vote for Bush because "Well, don't more well off and richer people normally vote Republican?" sour.gif So needless to say I thought most conservatives just voted that way because mommy and daddy did. I never really got a hold of "where conservatives were coming from", even when having heated discussions with Republican friends who were semi-informed on issues. But I've heard some really compelling arguments on this site from the Conservatives. I don't always agree with them but at least they make sense, are logical, and based on facts (sometimes thumbsup.gif )...something I really rarely got in college.

This isn't AD specific but I've done a lot of reading on Islam and the more I learn the more I see how Osama's peverted verision strays away from the real teachings. Sadly, it's Osama's version that percieved as mainstream Islam here in America which is far from the truth. I think all of us (myself included obviously) are guilty of viewing problems and policy from the view point of Americans only, which leads to only more problems.

I'm sure I've learned a lot more but I'm rambling. Thanks and I look forward to learning more wink.gif flowers.gif
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deathalive
post Jul 8 2005, 05:01 AM
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I have been here roughly a year and a half...and I think that through this site I have grown up so much. I have also grown into the world. I look at everything with a much more open mind now. I have definetley learned how to debate without rambling and shooting wildly off topic though I still need some help..

I have definetly shifted from a radical right wing republican to a more moderate- libertarian view...

I support the war but not for too much longer.. we are losing too many people there... I also reject the draft...

I have grown to admire a bunch of the members here on AD. You are all very intellegent and have great political views... I think there should be at least one AD member in all the branches of the gov.

well heres to another great year for everyone beer.gif (I dont care if Im underage)
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Ptarmigan
post Jul 8 2005, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE
It probably has more to do with me than with the scene, but Iím finding politics to be very depressing.



Oh no, politics can be depressing - immensely so. Especially if it something you care about and everyone else disagrees.

I actually don't post on topics I strongly care about, because there is always going to be someone who is going to hold the diametrically opposed view and arguing with 'em always leads to the Dark Side....

On a brighter note - I have gained a much deeper understanding of American culture and politics since engaging in some of the debates on this site. (In some ways, you have very British views on things - and in other ways you are weird and freaky. And please do something about Hollywood and McDonalds. thumbsup.gif )

At the debaters are clever and friendly - and the site has a great community feel to it.

This post has been edited by Ptarmigan: Jul 8 2005, 02:10 PM
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hayleyanne
post Jul 8 2005, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE(Ptarmigan @ Jul 8 2005, 09:10 AM)
QUOTE
It probably has more to do with me than with the scene, but Iím finding politics to be very depressing.



Oh no, politics can be depressing - immensely so. Especially if it something you care about and everyone else disagrees.

I actually don't post on topics I strongly care about, because there is always going to be someone who is going to hold the diametrically opposed view and arguing with 'em always leads to the Dark Side....

On a brighter note - I have gained a much deeper understanding of American culture and politics since engaging in some of the debates on this site. (In some ways, you have very British views on things - and in other ways you are weird and freaky. And please do something about Hollywood and McDonalds. thumbsup.gif )

At the debaters are clever and friendly - and the site has a great community feel to it.
*



Ptarmigan-- now you have to tell us. How are we similar to the British? And how are we weird and freaky? cool.gif
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kmsouthern
post Jul 8 2005, 02:47 PM
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I've learned that there are a lot of intelligent folks out there on both sides of the coin. My real-life encounters with conservatives had always been of the ditto-head variety, so it is nice to come here where most people actually are well-read and understand the issues (even if I disagree with them completely).

I've learned that there actually does exist a political site where people can (usually) be friendly and refrain from attacking the person instead of the issue. Thanks to Mike and Jaime for that!

I've learned that I really haven't changed much politically. I'm usually at least open to other arguments, but I really haven't changed my ideals at all. I'm still a liberal nut job freak - a loveable one, at that wub.gif

I've learned that in the two years I've been here, we still can't manage to have race debate threads without the usual bickering and generalizing. That's extremely upsetting to me since the reason I joined AD in the first place was to post something in the Race Debate board. sad.gif

I've learned that I am very confident in myself and my beliefs and in my manner of articulating those beliefs. I've felt more comfortable expressing my beliefs over time and have had lots of reassurance along the way, which is always a good way to stroke the ego.

I've learned that I don't post nearly often enough juding by my measly numbers over the course of two years tongue.gif

I've learned that posting in a thread you know little about is probably not a good idea (hence my lack of more posts whistling.gif )

I've learned that Jaime really likes cookies, especially when I bring them to chat! flowers.gif
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Juber3
post Jul 9 2005, 04:26 AM
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My view has changed immensly over the last couple years in fact. In a debate you get all information some pro's and some cons. However at times I feel that i am on the cons more then the pros. And thats what great about Americas Debate. It shows you that there are intelligent people all over the world willing to throw their gloves in. I have changed my view on homosexual rights here is a quote i got from Wertz just a couple months back.
QUOTE
I mention this not to embarrass you or anything, but because you are one of the few people here who seems to be willing to change their mind and not be embarrassed about it
So thank you wertz and thank you Americas Debate to show me that there are people out there that has constructive criticizm on things. You have truley changed my life and my personal opinions
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Ptarmigan
post Jul 11 2005, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE
Ptarmigan-- now you have to tell us. How are we similar to the British? And how are we weird and freaky?


Oh - well I meant in a good way, of course smile.gif

I think I was suprised to see how many British sentiments are broadly echoed on this site - particularly in views on the world and in general principles and morality. And Americans have a stereotype of taking themselves extremely seriously - and a good number of you on this site are a lot more self-deprecating than I would have thought.....so much for stereotypes!

To be honest, Americans get a reputation for being somewhat isolated and a bit arrogant. After having debated on this site, I can say it isn't really something you deserve. IMO. And you should manage your PR a lot better! (The trick is not to tell other countries that America is the best country in the world. Trust me, Britain spent most of the 19th century telling everyone that Britain was the best place in the world. It annoyed them a lot cool.gif )

The freaky stuff - well, it's things like going to the moon. Why the moon? There's nothing there! Its mad....if a British politician had suggested the moon, we'd all have stood around saying things like 'well, its awfully far' and 'could we just go to France instead ?- I know its full of Frenchmen, but the wine is rather nice'

And yet you go to the moon....

Really its the idealism - Britain has far less idealism in America - and the difference manifests itself in interesting ways...
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Bay State Rebel
post Jul 11 2005, 07:04 PM
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I've softened up on abortion, though I still think Roe v. Wade is a precedent that must be overturned. Also, I've seen that the Democratic party in general isn't as arrogant as most of the people I've known all my life.
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Aquilla
post Jul 11 2005, 08:11 PM
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QUOTE(Ptarmigan @ Jul 11 2005, 08:13 AM)
The freaky stuff - well, it's things like going to the moon. Why the moon? There's nothing there! Its mad....if a British politician had suggested the moon, we'd all have stood around saying things like 'well, its awfully far' and 'could we just go to France instead ?- I know its full of Frenchmen, but the wine is rather nice'

And yet you go to the moon....

Really its the idealism - Britain has far less idealism in America - and the difference manifests itself in interesting ways...
*




I have been participating on message boards like ad.gif for nearly 30 years. Long before there was an internet when I'd use my Commodore 64 with it's 300 baud modem to call up debate board sites (we called them BBS's) one at a time. I bring this up because in all my years online I have never read a more insightful and intelligent statement than the one I quoted here from Ptarmigan. I have debated with friends like Moif and Julian on other boards, and with others from other parts of the world and I've never been able to really get a handle on what I think truly defines America or at least my sense of what defines America. Leave it to a Brit to educate me about that. smile.gif

Idealism, that's what defines us. Idealism. Look at some of the words of the great leaders of my generation....

All we have to fear is fear itself.. - FDR
Ask not what your country can do for you..... - JFK
I have dream...... - Martin Luther King Jr.
Some men look at the way things are and ask why. I look at the way things can be and ask why not.... - Bobby Kennedy
A shining city on the hill... - Ronald Reagan

Idealism. Dreams and making them come true. We dream of flying in space and going to the moon. Crazy, silly, but we do it because we can. That and because we choose to pursue our dreams.

So, in keeping with the topic of this thread, what I've learned here was something I always knew. I just couldn't define it in specific terms. It took a Brit to do that. Thanks, Ptarmigan! I owe you a couple. beer.gif beer.gif

Cheers! thumbsup.gif

This post has been edited by Aquilla: Jul 11 2005, 08:12 PM
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Izdaari
post Aug 10 2005, 11:35 AM
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I can't really say that I've changed much politically in the last year, or even since joining AD, at least not as a result of the debates, though 9/11 and subsequent world events have made me more hawkish and less isolationist.

I used to think the Libertarian Party's hard isolationist stance was just wacky enough that it could possibly work, but no more, though I continue to agree with them on most other things. Now I tend to think that even the Bush administration is not aggressive enough, and hamstrung by being too PC, in combating the terrorist networks, and that the US needs to adopt a policy of not admitting Islamist hatemongers into the country and of deporting the ones that are already here, just as Tony Blair proposes to do in the UK.

Another issue on which I've become more conservative and less libertarian is the question of borders and illegal immigration. I think we do need more aggressive border enforcement and a crackdown on illegals, though we should allow a large amount of legal immigration, with assimilation always kept in mind, and have a guest worker program.

In other respects I remain as always, at least in recent years, a libertarian with some conservative tendencies, more empirically than ideologically driven, who looks more to libertarian SF writers like Poul Anderson, Robert A. Heinlein and Vernor Vinge for inspiration than to libertarian Ivory Tower theorists (though I continue to venerate F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, among many others). I also greatly admire some early 20th century libertarian writers, especially Isabel Paterson and Albert Jay Nock. And I remain torn between the LP and the GOP to try to get my ideals enacted, and continue to have little use for the Democratic Party, whose basic view of the proper role of government and of the Constitution I reject entirely, though I agree with them on some civil liberties and civil rights issues.

AD is a wonderful place, and I've made some good friends here and learned much about many things -- in particular some excellent points of constitutional law from hayleyanne -- but often I have too little patience for the formal format, and would rather play a computer game. That's not AD's fault, and I'm not suggesting it should change, just my need for escapism and stress relief.

This post has been edited by Izdaari: Aug 10 2005, 12:05 PM
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Fma
post Nov 1 2005, 04:04 PM
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Well, I learned a lot, thanks to the AD for that.

I learned that I should be more polite and civil during a debate. I will be working on that. I tend to get carried away and feel myself in a battle. I learned to be more patient. And most importantly I learned to be less prejudiced towards Americans. (I live in a hot-zone of the world and you can understand if America is not my favourite country, especially after the war.)
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Ringwraith
post Nov 1 2005, 04:34 PM
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I've discovered that where debate is concerned there is almost always more energy directed at being vindicated in ones own beliefs than in arriving at the truth.

Therefore I believe my tag line (Knowledge speaks but Wisdom listens) has been vindicated!

The irony is just dripping......

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Renger
post Dec 3 2005, 01:08 PM
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A lot has changed since I started visiting ad.gif. Like Moif stated earlier I also grew up thinking the U.S. was their to portect us, to fight the evil forces (at that moment personified in the USSR) in the world. They were the good guys.

This all started to change when I became more interested in the world around me and began understanding why my dad always wanted to watch the "news", when I was watching a new episode of "The Night Rider". From then on my views on the U.S. changed radically(I always compare it with Michael Jackson: a hero in my youth, a deception when I grew older and wiser(??).)
Especially the last few years with Bush as your president my love for the U.S. cooled down rapidly. I really had the feeling that the people in the U.S. were in a state of confusion when they first elected him. Why, why, why would anybody want to vote for Bush, why, why, why? Don't they get it? Have they completely lost their mind? A much heard mantra coming from my mouth in that time. blush.gif

Then came Bush's re-election ...... can you imagine my reaction? Complete disbelieve! Really, it was a deception a sad moment for me when I heard the results .... and I was not the only one who felt that way, to quote my (ahum) eloquent dad: America, I do not even want to fly over that country anymore! huh.gif laugh.gif

So when my love for America and my trust in the American people was almost completely washed away ....... I found ad.gif, and it changed my life!! laugh.gif

After reading al lot of posts, checking out all the new topics and occasionally submitting some of my own views, I have learned a lot about the American society, its values and its culture(s). Before I came here I had only a faint idea about the American society. (what I read came mostly from the Source, a hiphop magazine which also covers social issues concerning the Afro-American community) Now that I know more (I am still learning and exploring), some of the questions I had in the past have been answered and some of my views on the U.S. are corrected, but some have only worried me more.

Apart from that I have to compliment all the people here on ad.gif . You are all really nice. The fact that you all try to debate difficult/emotional issues in a civil, respectfull way is refreshing and stimulating. You have all amazed me ... in a really positive way! thumbsup.gif

Editted: Oops I think I went a little bit overboard with the Smilies .... blush.gif tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Renger: Dec 3 2005, 01:09 PM
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